31 October 2014


one. Happy Halloween! Above, some backstage shots of my husband's band transforming into CATS THE MUSICAL last night before playing DC's annual Spirits In Black party. JELLICLE!

two. Also costume-related: so stoked to have worked with photographer Jeff Martin and a WHOLE CAST of generous and good-sported friends on this year's BYT Halloween costume spread! Head this way for all your last minute, super-lazy costume needs (and here's last year's spread, too, should you be feeling a little more COSTUME AMBITIOUS).



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30 October 2014


How is Saturday N O V E M B E R ? I feel like I'm in some sort of time-tornado. Above, images from a few evenings in a very busy October.

from the top: my view of my friend Elizabeth, across the table at this past weekend's Field & Foundry gathering; a post-dinner party table at our house; the making of "The Death of a Frenchman" (calvados, lemon, champagne, and anisette) at a preview for the now-open Chez Billy Sud in Georgetown; from the Human Being Journal Issue 5 launch in Richmond, VA; and an at-home (straight hair!) S E L F I E situation taken at the beginning of the month, in the last little light of day.



29 October 2014


Is Fall not m a g i c ? You're wearing your leather jacket all the time and outdoors is all brisk and inspiring so you're spontaneously walking out the front door to grab a pre-dinner drink down the street and you run into friends organically because they, too love being outside while wearing leather jackets/cute booties/exposed ankles, and now you're laughing and hugging and IMBUED with YOUTH and LIFE and ROSY CHEEKS and FRIENDS and FALL! Is it not magic? Why stay in when everyone is out?

These days are numbered/Winter is coming, and so I'm re-acclimating like NOW to The Idea of Entertaining. Because not only will throwing dinner parties likely be the only way to see your friends once the cold hits and we all go into hibernation, but the holidays are impending and your long-distance buddies/siblings/parents are in town and ooooooops you got tipsy and accidentally invited everyone over for cocktails on Friday and so-and-so is bringing his girlfriend and can her friend come too? As follows, a few things I keep in mind, re: having people over:

GO WITH WHAT YOU KNOW. My first, college-era dinner party was a fuck up of monumental proportions. It involved a curry and lentils, and also a samosa situation, 2/3 of which I'd never laid hands on (but looked really good in Saveur). Like cooking? Make something you know you'll nail. Not so much? Order a pizza and make it a movie night. Should you find yourself in a situation where you really need to impress (in-laws, etc) and your skills are shaky, do a dry run the week before, take notes, and fire up round 2 night of; if that sounds like way too much work then CAN IT and order in something impressive. You'll probably spend less money than you would have at Whole Foods, and you'll avoid being stuck (or worse, hiding) in the kitchen all night.

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE: via Bon Appetit, Food52's Amanda Hesser imparted the advice "don't be a martyr," and it's stuck with me hard. If someone offers to bring dessert/wine/etc, take them up on it. It's less for you to do and less to stress about. Get over any ideas you have that anyone expects some bazonkers five course meal – if the idea of appetizers are overwhelming, you don't have to serve them. You really, really don't. A dinner party means dinner at home, and you're NOT a restaurant, and are YOU ever anything short of grateful and enamored of anything that's brought out to you on a platter at someone else's place? No, because you're not a jerk, and it's likely whomever you're inviting over isn't, either.

WHO CARES. So you don't have enough chairs? OH WELL. No one will mind sitting on the floor (also, read this). Latkes didn't come together? THAT HASH LOOKS GREAT! Put an egg on it. It's probably better now. Somebody showed up with a friend and their friend and one more friend and you only had 6 plates? Discreetly excuse yourself to knock on your neighbors door and borrow what you need, or pull out the bowls. No one's going to ask why things are mismatched because frankly, NO ONE CARES. Every step you take to thrill and wow and delight with menu and decor and florals is above and beyond x one million, and at the end of the day people are just glad to be out of their house, reveling in your way-chill and super-competent presence.


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28 October 2014


A few album covers that give me the visual s w o o n s every time I pull them off the shelf – how good is that Hank Williams??


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27 October 2014


I have a cold! Outside of the occasional and general "I don't feel well," I am NEVER sick, so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little glad for the forced opportunity to lay on the couch, catch up on  m y  s t o r i e s , and eat soup. So that's where I'll be if needed; until tomorrow, here are a few photos from this weekend's Topaz + Arrow Pumpkin Carving workshop!

It was super fun and easily the MOST C H I L L Topaz we've ever had – there's something about the kid's crafts that bring out an intensely quiet concentration in grown adults (though it's also possible that the fun-sized candy just put us all into a waking, carving sugar coma). Quick shout out to our friend Crystal of Miss Fete – she provided us with the S P O O K Y decor materials, and we went to town with her spiderwebs and awesomely goth streamers – and to our talented DC artist-friends Kelly Towles and Elizabeth Graeber for letting our guests stencil their artwork.

The final Topaz + Arrow of 2014 is next month – we'll be making wreaths using unexpected materials and celebrating all things H O L I D A Y. Tickets are up now at TopazAndArrow.com!


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